- Nov 24, 2008
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Hey Shades, tell us again how Bueckers is going to Notre Dame. LOL!
Hopkins junior guard Paige Bueckers, the nation’s No. 1-ranked girls’ basketball player in the class of 2020, announced Monday she will attend the most decorated collegiate program, the University of Connecticut.
Bueckers announced her choice on Twitter, selecting the Huskies over the likes of Notre Dame, Minnesota and numerous other schools.
The Gophers entered the recruiting picture after the hiring of Lindsay Whalen in April of 2018. Previous coach Marlene Stollings only appeared at Hopkins once during her four-year tenure.
“They did a great job making a late push,” Bueckers said of the Gophers. “Lindsay is the icon of Minnesota basketball. I wish them the best. She will do great things for the program.”
Point guard Paige Bueckers can read a roster as astutely as she can survey a basketball court, and that became evident Monday night when the No. 1 basketball prospect in the 2020 class announced her commitment to UConn.
"When I picked a college, I wanted a school where I can make an impact right away," Bueckers said. "Crystal [Dangerfield] is a point guard. I'm a point guard. But I don't want to take that for granted.
Dangerfield's 2020 graduation, Bueckers said, "was a big thought for me, but I didn't want that to be my whole decision. Anything can happen. I don't want to get a big head and say, 'Oh, I'm going to UConn, and I'm going to start right away.'"
"I think my talents will be maximized under Coach Geno," Bueckers said. "UConn appealed to me, and it appealed to my family.
"[Auriemma] kind of expected [my decision]. But he said, 'It's about time.'
"He thinks he can do great things with me, and I think so, too. That's why I chose UConn. I can't wait."
"As a kid, UConn was my dream school. Seeing them win all those national titles and then visiting campus and seeing them up close, it was everything I've dreamed of and more."
Bueckers said she has strong relationships with Auriemma and assistant coach Chris Dailey, and she has loved her visits to the UConn campus, most recently on Nov. 2 for a Huskies exhibition game.
"The fan base is so amazing that it felt like we were playing Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament instead of an exhibition," she said. "I want to be a part of what UConn has built.
Bueckers said she's not afraid of lofty expectations.
"I love what they do. It looks like so much fun," she said. "I know there's pressure when you have UConn across your chest, but I love pressure. I love when the rival fans hate you -- that makes the game more fun and entertaining.
If Beuckers wants to make an impact right away, she went to the wrong school. Her presence will have the least impact at a school like UConn who get a Paige a dozen.
I am very disappointed for the program and for Lindsay. Clearly though, Paige wants to play with the best, and that was mentioned in an earlier post that Paige wants to play with best. As disappointing as it is, I understand that Paige would want that. So the question that comes up for me, is how did Geno and Muffet eventually get to where they are? They had to coach well before the recruits came. Obviously this had been stated as In this forum as Whalen’s challenge. I do want her to be successful.Well disappointing to say the least but at least Coach Whalen now knows not to keep a scholarship open and go hard after other recruits. Was hoping Bueckers would pull Ionescu and not go to a traditional power. I for one do not need to see a home and home with UConn, not a fan even if they fill their roster with all Minnesotans.
It took ten and fourteen years respectively before Auriema and McGraw won national championships.I am very disappointed for the program and for Lindsay. Clearly though, Paige wants to play with the best, and that was mentioned in an earlier post that Paige wants to play with best. As disappointing as it is, I understand that Paige would want that. So the question that comes up for me, is how did Geno and Muffet eventually get to where they are? They had to coach well before the recruits came. Obviously this had been stated as In this forum as Whalen’s challenge. I do want her to be successful.
On another note, the Big Ten can’t even compete well in the Elite Eight, ad Iowa got whomped by Baylor. Elite recruits take notice, right?
Let’s see. We could call it The Future Whay?And now that Paige has made her decision, I'm looking forward to a new thread that focuses on the young women that will join us in upcoming seasons. Lindsay and crew are out there working hard for 2021's, 2022's and on. Those players will be the key to our long term success. Any coach in their first couple of years has little chance of getting players who someone else has been watching since junior high.
She went to play in the toughest program for the toughest coach where there is the most competition for playing time and you call that the easy way out? Wow. I'd love to hear your definition of difficult.LAME. She could have been different, instead she did what all those that believe their stuff doesn't stink and take the ball and leave. I wish her no luck and no best wishes. Minnesota is a good place and the Gophers will build with players that want to be here. At UCONN she will just be another face in the crowd of great players. Big deals, with a whole bunch of players that think they are big deals. It is the easy way out, it is a lot harder to elevate and make other players better as a point guard. Whalen did that, she made Minnesota women's basketball relevant and will continue to do so. This kid could have had a great mentor, played for a female coach we need more of that in sports, that knows what huge expectations are, been a name and face on a banner, a lot of young girls wearing her jersey, in a full gym. Instead she picks UCONN because it was the easy way. I'm a Gopher fan so now I will be rooting for other great players. Don't care about UCONN because do not like their SMUG coach. Whatever dude, we will win with players that want to be here. Go Gophers!
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Well said. Am bummed but she didn't string the Gophers along so both sides can move on. Just really, really frustrating when kids in both men's and women's BB could get the programs to the next level and they go to the elites.She went to play in the toughest program for the toughest coach where there is the most competition for playing time and you call that the easy way out? Wow. I'd love to hear your definition of difficult.
She made the choice that felt right to her, a choice that had been top of mind for years. Bueckers gave the Gophers a shot, but in the end chose the path most likely to yield a national championship and clear road to the WNBA. The least we can do is give her our respect.
I take Paige at her word that she'd thought/dreamed about being a Husky since her youth, so you can't come down on someone for pursuing a lifelong dream. She was a toddler when the Gophs went to the Final Four, so she essentially didn't experience that firsthand. If she had, it might have been a different story. This community had an orgasm when that team went to the FF. The love this state poured out to the Gopher women was like few things I'd ever seen.I'm disappointed she didn't choose MN but I hold nothing against her. Whalen is unproven as a head coach. UCONN is the standard for womens college basketball. Do I wish she chose MN, yes. Paige will have an excellent career with the huskies and eventually the WNBA. No need to say anything negative about her.
You b-ball-craz-26 get what i meant about the easy path and the path less traveled, taking the easy way out was a metaphor for that. It is not easy blazing your own path instead of being like everyone else. There are easily two sides to the argument and in my opinion the easiest choice was always UCONN.I can understand both sides of this topic. First and foremost, this is her decision. she is a 16/17 year old kid making a massive decision. As a lover of women's basketball I enjoy watching this kid because she is a hell of a player. Yes I agree I am also disappointed she didn't pick the gophers, but I also feel its not surprising she went to UConn. There are a few things I want to weigh-in on. Saying UConn has the most competition, I don't agree with that. They have a joke of a conference. In her four years, Paige may lose one conference game. Sorry on that front I agree to taking the easy road. However I do agree there is no more demanding coach in the country that Geno. He will squeeze out any ounce of potential a player has. In that sense she did not take the easy road. I also agree I'm happy the decision is out there, wasn't strung along and all parties can move forward. I still believe as I said long ago, I don't feel missing or getting Bueckers was going to decide my feelings on Whalen's recruiting. I will give that a few classes. So far the incoming one is looking promising. The other thing said about clear road to WNBA. that I also don't agree with. Tell that to A'ja Wilson, Elena Delle Donne, Seimone Augustus, Brittney Griner etc. Many greats in the league came from elsewhere in the country and are doing just fine in their pro careers. Also on that side note, I feel what women's basketball needs is more A'ja Wilsons. Her one title while building up her hometown school is more impressive than Breanna Stewarts 4 at UConn which was already a pre-built dynasty. I cant fault a kid for choosing what is right for them. I also think it probably means gophers get at least a game in the barn facing UConn sometime in bueckers career. Hopefully Whalen has the team on an elite level to compete with them.
To wrap it up, Yes I respect and wish Paige the best is all her future endeavors. Yes I still stand by women's basketball needs more A'ja Wilsons.
@bball_craz_26 To be clear, I didn't say UCONN had the most competition. I said it had the most competition for playing time.